The Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago (TTIC) is a unique independent computer science graduate academic institution, focused on pursuing fundamental research and education in computer science since its operations began in 2003. TTIC has had tremendous success in its short history and has become a highly renowned institution for important research and learning in its areas of focus, which include computer science theory and algorithms, machine learning, speech and language technologies, computer vision and computational photography, robotics, and computational biology.

As its 20th anniversary approached, the institute undertook a comprehensive strategic planning process that involved the whole TTIC community, including discussions with faculty, administrative staff, students, and the Board of Trustees, guided and informed by the institute’s academic mission and understanding of its resources, partnerships, constituents, and fiducial responsibilities. This process provided an opportunity for TTIC to reflect on its past, consider its present status, and think strategically about priorities for the coming years. Discussions focused on the institute’s core mission, vision, and values, key opportunities and challenges, and strategic priorities and initiatives to help guide and propel the institute forward in the near future.

Strategic Priorities

The strategic plan identified ten areas that represent strategic priorities, grouped into two categories: (1) Priority Aspirations – guiding principles to help guide decisions and direction, and (2) Priority Actions – actions to focus on. These are intended to highlight key motivations and desired outcomes that should inform decision-making in the coming years.

Priority Aspirations

  1. Be the best place to be a researcher, and learn to be a researcher, in our areas of interest, as a student, visitor, postdoc, and faculty member.
  2. Perform and disseminate high quality, high impact research that advances and changes our research fields (and beyond) for the better.
  3. Excel at preparing students, postdocs, and RAPs to be leaders in their professions and careers after their time at TTIC, including supporting their job searches.
  4. Be a cohesive, supportive, inclusive, and caring academic community and employer.

Priority Actions

  1. Grow the numbers of faculty, students, and staff while maintaining high standards of excellence.
  2. Explore new research partnerships with other institutions in industry and academia.
  3. Continue to evolve existing partnerships with our key partners, UChicago and TTIJ, and consider new opportunities for collaboration and cooperation.
  4. Increase our visibility in the computing community, in academia, in industry, in the Chicago area, and among potential students.
  5. Increase the diversity of our academic personnel, focusing on groups that are underrepresented in computing and STEM disciplines, and engage in activities aimed to increase diversity in computing nationwide, including outreach to improve opportunities in the local community.
  6. Promote effective governance, operational excellence, financial stewardship, and communication as an organization.

Strategic Initiatives

The strategic plan also identified six strategic initiatives, specific projects and areas to focus on in the coming years:

  1. Increase Awareness of TTIC
  2. Special Research-Themed Programs of Activity
  3. Develop Strategic Partnerships with Industry and Academia
  4. Strengthen Outreach Activities and Opportunities
  5. Increase the Diversity of Our Academic Staff and Students
  6. Improve Internal Communication and Processes to Enhance Our Environment and Organizational Effectiveness

These strategic priorities and initiatives will guide our aspirations and actions for the upcoming years. Meaningful progress will empower TTIC to amplify our mission of research and education with impact.